Has anyone had this treatment as an alternative to Warfarin?

Posted , 1 user is following.

At the present time stroke risk can be managed with aspirin or warfarin however, the Watchman device can also be used to prevent strokes.

The reason why people who have AF suffer with strokes is because blood clot breaks away from the left atrial appendage (LAA), a small blind ending pouch off the main left atrial chamber. This ‘appendix’ of the heart is not necessary for normal heart function and is routinely removed during certain types of heart surgery. With the LAA removed the chances of having a stroke are greatly reduced and patients do not need to take warfarin. 

A minimally invasive, local anaesethic procedure has recently been developed to exclude the LAA from the heart. A purposefully designed plug, compressed within a long thin tube (catheter), is delivered into the heart via the leg. Once the catheter is in position, it can be withdrawn allowing the plug to expand and fill the LAA.

Over the next 6 weeks the body reacts to the plug, causing new tissue to grow over it and therefore permanently occlude the LAA. The most widely used device is called the Watchman and this is being pioneered by the London AF Centre at the London Bridge and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals. A recent clinical trial of 700 patients has demonstrated that the Watchman is as effective as warfarin in preventing stroke.

The Watchman is suitable for patients who have AF and have been advised to take warfarin because they have a high risk of stroke, but are unable to because either they have had a complication eg a dangerous bleed or it causes unpleasant side effects. It can also be considered for patients who for various reasons do not wish to take warfarin.

0 likes, 4 replies

Report / Delete

4 Replies

  • Posted

    Derek     I am playing the WATCH and decide with Watchman ...only 700 patients on the tests? with my luck I would be number 701 who then kicked the bucket ! smile


    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      What are the chances of a bleed from the blood thinners?

      I will be doing a post tomorrow on my pacemaker experience that will also refer to Watchman and another similar device that has been around longer.


      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    chances os a bleed is dependent on ech person so say my specialists who yet are not absoliutely sure about the NEWEST drugs xarelto etc, (which I take ,,and depends on  Unfortunately the newer drugs have no antidote so I am trying to decide on surgery for a different problem..IF I stop xarelto ,,,mire risk   of stroke unless given a substiitiute blood thinner temperararly,  like herperin for the surgery..but no guarantees... so Doctors tell me it has to be MY decision as to operations..IF you are on the older drug Warferin THEY DO have an ANTIDOTE (VitaminK ) if a bleed occurs ..that is why many stick to the old tried and true BUT it has more need for blood testing, monitoring by doctors.etc,,,I have TINY  veins and hard to get blood  so opted for the more expensive but more risky xarelto

    Good Luck you will be fine smile


    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      They say that an antidote is being developed and will be available soon.

      I find it worrying that so many people have minor bleeding from eyes, ears and gums. If someone has such visible signs what minor bleeding may be happening iternally? 

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up